Autodesk acquires Solid Angle (Arnold renderer)


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) has acquired Solid Angle, developer of Arnold, an advanced, ray-tracing image renderer for high-quality 3D animation and visual effects creation used in film, television and advertising worldwide. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

An efficient global illumination renderer used by more than 500 studios and thousands of independent artists, Arnold has become the preferred tool among creative professionals for high-quality rendering. Arnold has been used on Academy Award-winning films such as “Ex Machina” and “The Martian” as well as the Emmy Award-winning series Game of Thrones, among other popular features, TV shows and commercials.

“We’re constantly looking out for promising technologies that help artists boost creativity and productivity,” shared Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Efficient rendering is increasingly critical for 3D content creation and acquiring Solid Angle will allow us to help customers better tackle this computationally intensive part of the creative process. Together, we can improve rendering workflows within our products as well as accelerate the development of new rendering solutions that tap into the full potential of the cloud, helping all studios scale production.”

“Autodesk shares our passion for numerical methods and computational performance and our desire to simplify the rendering pipeline, so artists can create top quality visuals more easily,” said Solid Angle Founder Marcos Fajardo. “With Autodesk, we’ll be able to accelerate development as well as scale our marketing, sales and support operations for Arnold to better meet the needs of our growing user base. Working side-by-side, we can solve production challenges in rendering and beyond.”

As part of Autodesk, Solid Angle’s development team will continue to drive the evolution of Arnold working in close collaboration with its user community. Arnold will remain available as a standalone renderer for both Autodesk products and third party applications including Houdini, Katana, and Cinema 4D on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Both Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya will also continue to support other third-party renderers.

“As with other acquisitions, we are committed to supporting third party applications with Arnold,” explains Bradshaw. “Our goal is to improve customers’ collaboration, creativity, productivity and efficiency across their entire pipeline, regardless of the tools they use.”

Arnold pricing and packaging is unchanged and Autodesk will continue to offer perpetual licenses of Arnold. Customers should continue to purchase Arnold through their usual Solid Angle channels.


Wow this is a BIG DEAL.


Please not again… I’d like to believe this dinosaur’s days are numbered but it looks like it tries to leave as much damage behind as possible.


Be interesting to see how well supported the third party plugins will be in the future…


Yeah, but what the hell is with these press releases? Why can’t they just be honest? Why can’t they say
“HA! In your face!” or “We just want more money.”
What is all this

Together, we can improve rendering workflows within our products as well as accelerate the development of new rendering solutions that tap into the full potential of the blaaa blaaa blaa,

Do they believe their own bullshit, or that is just for…who exactly? Nobody takes them seriously since they bought Maya.



“Arnold already supports Maya, Houdini, C4D, Katana and other products, but not 3ds Max. It is safe to guess that is the first (or second thing) Solid Angle will address. The only other higher priority will be an even tighter Maya integration. While the company has not committed to 3ds Max publicly, their press release all but confirmed that 3ds Max integration was coming soon.”

And from their FAQ:

"Does this mean Autodesk will release an Arnold plug-in for 3ds Max?
It is too early to talk about future product capabilities, however we will be investing in expanding Arnold. support for other 3D applications including other Autodesk applications.

Autodesk currently offers mental ray with Maya and 3ds Max. What does this mean for the
future of mental ray?
mental ray is owned by NVIDIA who are ultimately responsible for the future of that product. Autodesk has historically included a certain number of mental ray licenses with some of our products including 3ds Max
and Maya and we will continue to do so for now. While there are no immediate changes planned, one of the
things we are now evaluating is making Arnold available with 3ds Max and Maya"

That’s a lot of hints towards official Max support, among other things :slight_smile:


I am sure that if they manage this as well as their SoftImage products there is nothing to worry about…


Judging by everything I’ve read on the matter, this looks like it could go either way. The fact that SolidAngle is remaining it’s own entity gives me hope. It could very much allow them to focus on developing the best renderer they could possibly produce. Or, you know…Softimage.


Maybe Nvidia wasn’t playing ball with ADSK as far as cloud rendering goes. Zync has only supported V-ray, Renderman and Arnold for the longest time. MR seemed like something they would’ve added by now if it was possible.


So now Side FX should buy chaosgroup!

At least Autodesk will never buy Blender!


It’s remaining it’s own entity as a brand, but everything was sold. Since they own all the shares, Autodesk could technically do whatever it likes with the company. It definitely could go either way, but I’m sure that a lot of the previous Softimage users want to avoid anything Autodesk related.


Judge it by their actions, not by empty words.

Mudbox, Softimage, Naiad (Bifrost). How many more examples you need before you wake up?


I’m so excited by that press release. Too bad cpu renderer’s days are numbered.


I dont really see how this going to be good for non-autodesk softwares.
Softimage, c4d, houdini, they’ll get probably pushed back by AD on development. just wow…


I don’t disagree with you. Autodesk has put plenty of good software to rest. As someone who uses Maya and Arnold, this is rather interesting to me. Worst case, we would lose Arnold entirely several years down the road. It would suck, a lot. It is truly a great renderer. I enjoy using it.

Best case scenario, we get what Marcos is talking about when asked about the acquisition. Which means Maya Arnold users will really benefit from this. SolidAngle having more resources behind them and more time focused on R&D. Who knows, Arnold may support GPU rendering here soon and really push everyone else in that direction.

High chance of sucking, chance of being amazing. Cautiously optimistic, I’ll remain. There are still options available during the worst case scenario.


Being optimistic is OK, if it doesn’t approach the level of Einstein’s definition on madneess.

There’s no such thing like “remaining it’s own entity” if you sell %100 percent of your company. That’s just PR-BS. ADSK owns solidangle, Marcos will probably retire soon (or start a gpu renderer company) and the rest will keep chasing the carrot.


While Autodesk users continue getting the stick


This probably falls in line nicely with AD’s cloud rendering service for their upcoming subscription.

It would be amazing if everyone who owned maya network licenses, suddenly found themselves with arnold licenses in maya 2018


all those C4d arnold users are probably pretty happy.